Denatured Alcohol

I’m curious what do some of you guys use to clean / wipe down your boards before the hot coat/gloss coat?   I’m building my boards with Resin Research epoxy.  All the research I have come across says to use denatured alcohol but I am having trouble finding it in my area.  So far I have tried using lacquer thinner as a cleaner which worked pretty good,  but I still get the occasional fish eye, even with additive F.  I’m careful to not touch the board with bare hands, using gloved hands only.

The other issue is I can’t really wipe down the board with lacquer thinner if I do any post art work on the hotcoat before the gloss coat since it pretty much strips any kind of paint, on those boards I have cleaned the board with dish detergent and lots of water.  So what do you guys use or is denatured alcohol really the best?  Thanks.





Kleen-Strip Denatured Alcohol is available at most home improvement stores. Lowes, Home Depot, Ace hardware…

You can drag the sticky side of masking tape along the board to pick up dust particles over artwork…



Hi Brian

Thanks for the reply, I’m in Canada and I tried all of the local hardware stores but no luck, the only thing one place suggested was methyl hydrate. 


try looking for stove fuel at local hardware stores, i believe that the fuel for alcohol stoves is the same as denatured? I’ve used it before as a substitute.

Back when I was working with epoxy I would wash the board with dawn dish washing liquid before coats.  To get rid of lint or dust I recommend using one of those lint rollers that is basically masking tape.  Works like a charm.

Pure Ethanol (drinking alcohol) works and might actually work better. Sometimes denatured alcohol is sold under different names, “methylated spirits” is one.

You shouldn't have to wipe it down with anything.  Just another opportunity for contamination.  Dish soap as Mako said would be the harshest thing I would use.

Hi Max.

Me too… (Canuk)

The best place to pick up 99.9% pure Isopropyl alcohol or DNA in Ontario Can. is at Shoppers Drug Mart , Pharmasave, IGA, Fortino’s or any of the large Drug store or Grocery store chains with an instore drugs and medical supply section.

You find it in the ointment isle right beside the 70% Rubbing alcohol…

BUT, you  DON’T want the 70%  Rubbing though,…OH NO, as it contains mineral oils that will give you walleye size fish eyes in your hot coat… Make sure the bottle says 99% Isopropyl and you’ll be fine…Also the large or better yet XL sized rubber  “laminating” gloves are usually located in the exact same isle location… They’re cheaper at these stores than fiberglass supply shops…  One stop shopping…:slight_smile:


A guy I know was wiping down his epoxy lams with Xylene before fill coating.  We can't get it in California anymore but his fill coats always looked nice. 

PS - Xylene is toxic stuff.

No wipe micro wave.....

Denatured Alcohol......bad idea.......

I'm joining the club with several outcasts that most people on here don't like..........clean is clean....a sanded board is clean.....

Clean compressed air is good....Filtered....clean air.

Air from a Cold War oil lubed compressor....nasty recycled solvents...Bad.

Your choice......wipe down with a solvent from the local store???.....

Dude Mar From Del Mar....wash your hands...wash your hands.

Back in the old days all the tough guys would just drink a bunch of EverClear (200 proof) and then piss on their boards instead of wiping them down… kinda burns going down but no fingerprints and no fisheyes — occasionally the boards would yellow a bit!!

PS drinking lowers your inhibitions, including UV inhibitors… ha ha.

Hey VH

Yeah i tried the local Shoppers and the best they had was 95% pure Isopropyl and that stuff had other non-medical ingredients in it, so no go there.  I'm in NS so not sure if that would make much of a difference.  And yes I found out the hard way with the 70% crap a while ago, I had fish eyes galore.  I get my vinyl gloves at the local restaurant food supply place, box of 100 for 5 bucks, everytime I'm done, just toss em no cleaning :)



Hopefully this link works:

The only thing I’ll add to the priceless wisdom shared by some gifted members in the aforementioned thread is: the only justifiable reason in my mind for wiping an epoxy glass job with anything is removing amine blush with soap and water.  If you got through the glassing and hot-coating without any blush, then re-read the thread linked above.

 Of course, this only my opinion, and we all know about opinions.

Glass a piece of 1 x 12 and rub your sweaty hands all over it.  Test the different suggestions.  See which works best.

When I add a coat of epoxy resin to another epoxy surface that has been handled a lot, I do this:


I use glass cleaner (like Windex) as a de-greaser (hand oil etc. remover).  Spray, wipe down, wipe off.  Then I use a damp paper towel or fine-weave soft cloth (wetted with water) to wipe the glass cleaner residue off the resin surface.  Seems to work fine for me.



I generally only use DNA to clean tools along with white vinegar and orange GO-JO and very rarely wipe anything on a board prior to painting or glossing.

I know from past experience that if you were to need to use the pure isopropyl alcohol for any reason, it leaves no residue or resulting fish eyes in hotcoats.

For me, pure DNA is a great alternative to having the more toxic and expensive  acetone around the shop for degreasing/cleaning puurposes.

I did not suggest wiping a complete board down with it, but I did try to tell Max here where to possibly purchase it in Canada and to scrutinize it’s purity regardless of end use…


As far as priceless wisdom goes, here or anywhere else in the World :  It can be found in a multitude of different places ,views, ideas,  methods,techniques, beliefs and yes,even opinions.

 With this in mind, it might not always be considered wise to let ones self become  completely selective and exclusively biased towards  particular  wisdoms written about on this forum or elsewhere in exclusion of ( and / or disregard for)  equally valid yet perhaps unorthodox alternative options

Of course, this is strictly my opinion as well… And I do know what they say about them…


A friend of mine used to make epoxy boards many years ago, maybe 15 to 20 years ago. He said he would wash the boards with dawn dishwashing soap to get rid of the blush.

Wow, thanks lots of comments. I think I have narrowed it down to my air compressor, I used it to blow off the board sometimes which I think is why I get the occasional problem.  I read through the comments and you guys suggest to use paper towel to wipe the dust off, does this really get rid of all of the sanding dust.  I find sometimes little raised dots on my hotcoat/glosscoat which I don't think is contamination but left over sanding dust, sands out fine usually.  Ideas to get rid of that? Thats kinda why I was asking about using a liquid (DN) to wipe every bit of dust off.

Also I have always been worried about using tape to pull dust off as the adhesive may leave a residue, then again we all use it to tape the rails so I guess why wouldn't it work.


Distilled water contains no residues/contaminants, just water.  The only potential source of contaminants using soft cloth dampened with distilled water would be the cloth or your hands.  Water evaporates.


Of course, if you did not use Additive F, and your resin is not cured, this could accentuate amine blush.

I like DNA and use it all the time.  I even put it in my epoxy at times, it kind of acts like a surfactant.  I hate the smell of it and if you leave a can open in the summer it attracks certain types of flies, as well as, evaporates.  Lots of tricks you can do with it- just don’t drink it.

Ok I think I figured out what my issue was with fish eyes,I thought that my surface wasn’t clean enough even tho I am super careful to only touch the board with gloves.  But what the issue is: I was not putting a thick enough coat of epoxy on, I was stretching out the epoxy to much as I was trying to reduce weight, so probably not enough surface tension to hold it nice and smooth to the board. 

I just did a gloss coat and it came out beautful, at first it started to fish eye in places which caused me much cursing but I mixed up a little more epoxy and dumped it on the deck since at this point I figured things were screwed anyways, used nice smooth brush strokes and to my surprise no more fisheyes.

This was a freshly sanded board with some post art work on hotcoat, did not use any soap, alcohol, water and it came out just fine.

Thanks for all the help guys.